Mount Pleasant Magazine July/August 2023

73 www. ReadMPM. com | www.MountPl easantMagaz i ne. com | www. ShemCreekRes taurant s . com people do not know that it’s a traditional Gullah dish where the shrimp is smothered in a rich gravy and served with bell peppers and onions over a bed of grits or rice. Traditional Frogmore Stew or Lowcountry Boil has its roots in Gullah traditional cooking as well. Using the onepot cooking method allows the mélange of ingredients— typically shrimp and fish, corn, potatoes and whatever vegetables are fresh and available—to create its signature flavor profile. “Growing up,” said Saunders, “whatever we caught was what was thrown in, but the seafood is what gives the flavor… and lots and lots of garlic.” VEGETARIAN OR OPTIONAL VEGETARIAN DISHES Saunders said that many of the main and side dishes in Gullah cooking are adaptable and can be made vegetarian or vegan to suit dietary preferences. One such recipe is okra soup. This meal is prepared with a tomato base, butter beans, corn, peppers, onions and whatever other veggies are available. Bits of whole corn are dropped in to marinate and soak up the flavorful broth. While meat, such as small pieces of pork or turkey, can be added, this soup is often made vegetarian, relying on the blend of herbs to provide all the necessary flavor. Similar to the Creole dish gumbo, it “provides all your nutrients for the day in one pot,” according to Saunders. Collard greens are a staple side in Gullah cooking that can be made with or without meat. Saunders likes to blend a hearty cabbage and collard medley that takes advantage of two plentiful summer crops. Lima beans and rice are another common side served with Gullah meals. Sweet dishes like sweet potato poon and cinnamonspiced candied yams are typically served alongside the main meal, rather than as dessert. There are a few restaurants around Charleston which feature or specialize in Gullah Geechee cooking: Bertha’s Kitchen, Hannibal’s Kitchen, Dave’s Carry-Out downtown and H&R Sweet Shop in the Old Village. Most Gullah chefs don’t rely on recipes, according to Saunders. Their palates are trained from a young age to know how the food should taste and to recognize when an ingredient is missing. This explains a lot of the variations you’ll find among Gullah Geechee dishes and recipes. There is, however, always one main ingredient that never changes—love. “The food is always made with love,” said Saunders, “because nobody wants to have angry food.” food IVVitamin Therapy in a Day Spa Enviroment. Better health begins with HEALTHY CELLS Feed your Cells. Fuel your Life. Same day appts. Walk ins welcome! • Vitamin Drips • IM Shots • Immunity • Aesthetics • Recovery • Concierge Service • NAD Infusions Scan QR code or Call 854-800-2377 for more information! 50% must present coupon*